By Jeff O’Connor
TSN’s Bob McKenzie is reporting that Winnipeg Jets forward Alexei Ponikarovsky has been traded to the New Jersey Devils.
More details to follow…
UPDATE 8:20 PM: Devils give Jets 4th round pick in 2014 and 7th round pick in 2013.
Also, according to Tom Gulitti of The Record, Lamoriello said Dainius Zubrus will have exploratory surgery on his wrist tomorrow. Could miss anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks.
UPDATE 8:39 PM: Ponikarovsky tells reporters he will fly to Jersey on Thursday and be ready to play Friday versus Philadelphia.
Jeff’s Take: How can you not love this as a Devils fan? The Devils get a capable player to take over for Zubrus while he recovers from surgery. And if Zubes recovers completely, you essentially have the exact same team as last year, minus Parise, to try and go win another Cup. What a great night to be a Devils fan!!!
Dave’s Take: I think this is a smart move. The idea of having a young player logging first line minutes over the course of the season was not a good idea. Will Ponikarovsky be great? Probably not, but what I think he will be is a solid contributor and a calming factor for the first line. He can come in and immediately fill the hole. Travis Zajac has been struggling lately and I think having another solid veteran beside him will help.
Is this a move that makes the Devils much better? No, but I think it will allow the younger players to play and grow on the fourth line while it solidifies the top line and doesn’t result in breaking up the other two lines which have been so great.